Friday, May 28, 2010

Today is my husband's birthday. #24.
Here are 24 reasons why I get a kick out of having him around.

Let's get the physical ones out of the way, shall we?
1. His smile. It's killer.
2. His wake up face. It is so pouty, its adorable!
3. He has a bubble bum, which looks incredible in slacks [ truth must be told!]
4. His broad shoulders. They are so masculine.
5. So he may have some chest hair, and I may be the biggest fan.
[now the stuff that really counts]
6. He appreciates my cooking.
7. He's a pretty organized guy, never leaves a mess behind.
8. Extremely dedicated hard worker.
9. He picks up on the little things, like my watch needing a new battery.
10. He'll watch The History Channel "The Presidents" with me.
11. He is always up for learning.
12. He's musically talented and is a fantastic bass.
13. Jared is a very patient man.
14. We share the same humor. Laughter is so important.
15. He served a mission faithfully.
16. I have a pretty great imagination. I mean GREAT. He never shuts me up when I babble on about our future kids, house, travel plans, etc.
17. Although I might hate it at times, he helps me monitor my sweets intake.
18. He takes out the trash without me having to ask.
19. He has ambition.
20. He's always down for an adventure.
21. He's frugal.
22. He doesn't play video games or watch sports.
23. He loves the gospel.
24. He's solely mine. We are sealed for time and all eternity.

President Hinckley said that marriage is "the stuff of which your dreams are made."
It truly is.
Happy 24th Birthday Jared Oakden, Sir!

LOST, you've bamboozled me!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yes, it's 3 days after the finale and I am still up in arms about the LOST series finale. I feel cheated. If you so happened to find joy in the ending, that's great. All LOST goes to heaven - who can't like that? I'll tell you what not to like:

1. Why was Sayid's true love Shannon? Clearly Nadia was his one and only.

2. What was up with the Dharma Initiative - those people were sooo interesting! Seriously, I wanted to know more about all of that stuff, all their stations, experiments. Remember how Juliet was brought into the DHARMA to study why women couldn't conceive on the island and why women would die during childbirth? Where's that answer? That was a major part of Clare giving birth on the island and Sun's pregnancy - totally major in all other seasons yet didnt weigh into the finale at all.

3. How were the Dharma even allowed to make camp on the island? It seems like the man in black killed everyone that came to the island, so why would he allow a whole colony to live there and get close to the island's power source?

4. What was up with the temple people? Jacob had a colony inside the temple walls? what for? Isn't that what the OTHERS are for? Seems like Richard didnt know/associate much with temple people for being Jacob's second hand man.

5. Whidmore was taken down pretty easy. That wasn't much of a fight. Lame. What was the point of Whidmore in the end? Nothing.

6. Did Richard do anything to save the island in the end? No. Did he ever know anything about the island? No. What a great advisor.

7. So Jacob lived in a cave on the island, also had a lighthouse and lived in the shoe of an egyptian looking fox thing? Where did that statue come from and why did Jacob have so many places of residence?

8. Why was Desmond so special? What was Charles Whidmore planning on doing with him? Putting him down into the light too? How did Charles know about Desmond's ability and

9. Why does Walt appear on the island sometimes, as well as the younger Jacob?

10. The younger Jacob appears to Hurley, and takes Ilana's ashes and then Hurley finds grown Jacob by a fire... So Jacob still lives on through fire??? If he lives until that fire dies out, who built that fire in the first place?

11. How convenient that Rose and Bernard come back this season to let Desmond out.

12. In the sideways, were Juliet and Jack married? Jack referred to her as his son's Mom and Juliet said in all the years we've been married, you never told me about your sister, Claire? Huh??

I cant even comprehend the ending scene, with them all being in "pergatory" or whatever.

I have an infinite amount of questions. Sometimes its ok to have questions still lingering to keep your mind open and perpetuate thought, but this is not the case here. Clearly the directors cornered themselves. I just feel completely cheated. LOST, I will now silence my disappointment and will move forward remembering all our good times Seasons 1-5 ONLY. Also, the fact that I met Desmond 2 nights ago at the gym. Yes, I did a double take, stopped immediately on the stair master, followed him to the boxing room, where I told him that I enjoyed the Finale, EVEN THOUGH I DIDNT. I only lied because it was Desmond. He is quite ravishing with that Scottish accent and all.

Shower Thoughts

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So what was the meaning of the title of the show "Family Matters"? Was it stating "hey, family does matter! It's important!" or was it family matters, as in family affairs or family business? One will never know...

So I'm sure that my past "shower thoughts" posts have revealed that I use my shower time to contemplate the rather nonsensical things in life. So, this is going to seem real dimwitty of me, but maybe there are others out there who are wondering this same thing and I can help shed some light on a new learned truth. Last Saturday morning I found my way into a parking garage where I parked on Level 6. The whole climb up I drove up on the right hand outer side of the structure. Cool. After a very successful shopping trip to Old Navy [?? I know, right? I never shop there but it so happens that they have the JCrew look that I'm trying to achieve this summer, but cheaper], I made my way back to Level 6 where I backed out and started down the parking garage. Then my mind triggered the thought - how does this parking structure even work? Seriously, during the descent, I was still on the right hand side on the outer structure of the garage. I kept looking down every aisle on every level, feeling like I was going down the same way that I had come up until I magically made it out. When I got home I even asked Jared if he knew the secrets of the parking structure. We discussed the mechanics of the garage, but I think he ended up dismissing my genuine intrigue. So since I am a visual person, wisdom-seeker and problem solver, I decided to get to the bottom of this and drew a diagram:
Yes, I drew this. All 6 levels. I drew dashes up to Level 6 and marked my "parking spot". Then I backed myself out with that darker black arrow. And I was enlightened. I realized that it was possible to both ascend and descend the garage on the outer arena without ever once running in to the opposite direction. I guess the up and down lanes are just built on top of one another. Duh! And that slight slant on each level connects the up and down passage ways so that you can exit at any level. I'm so smart! [Don't ever let me design anything for you] Surely, I can't be the first person to contemplate this phenomenon!

Most people use blogs to narrate their family stories and updates, or to inspire people with creative cooking recipes and crafts, or my favorite - fashion. I use our blog [I say our, but it is really mine. I just feel like adding Jared's name into the mix makes the blog seem more purposeful] to.. to.. I don't know really. I guess I use it to record the minor details, the things that get looked over. Like the importance of parking infrastructure. Or that time when I ran over an old man with a bicycle. Or our family videos.

So Happy Together.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jared and I are very fortunate to be together. We have a bucket-load of fun. I believe it was Saturday morning when Jared and I were snuggling before rolling out of bed, and I asked him if he had any good dreams. Yes, he dreamed that we were in London. That put a smile on my face. That same morning Jared scheduled me for a 1 hr massage at the EXHALE spa, which was heavenly. I'm always surprised by the things that I like, and I guess having a stranger rub oil on my naked back is one of them. Afterward, I met Jared on his lunch break, where we tried to chase down a taco truck, but failed. Regardless, it made me happy that I could see him for those brief 20 min.

That afternoon we made a trip to the dollar store and guess what we picked up? 1 pack of fresh strawberries and 2 packages of refrigerated nestle tollhouse mini-chocolate chip cookies! All for $3! Talk about luck. That made me very very happy! That evening we went to Flemings, where Jared and I entertained ourselves the whole evening with our frugality. [Check prior post for the whole experience] We like to laugh at ourselves.

Sunday is always a happy day. We got to sleep in, eat Raisin Bran and attend church. Our little primary class makes us INTENSELY happy. Those 4 year-olds say the darnedest things! The lesson was about prayer. We were talking about times when we might get scared and we can pray to heavenly father, like maybe we had a bad dream. Wow, did that open up a topic. Everyone shared their most scary dreams from a dark shadow to an alligator eating a cat and then biting off her arm. It's times like those that Jared and I feel so lucky to teach these youngins and witness the wonder of a child's brain.

Speaking of children that we love, Jared and I adore our friends' 2 little girls who we would love to steal away! Shauna and Josh having incredible daughters. We went out to dinner with them the other week and Josh I guess mentioned to Jared that they could try to get a sitter. No sir, bring those girls with you - we need some little girl lovin! Both Shauna and Josh served their missions in Korea, so we were up for an asian adventure and went with them to a Korean BBQ in Korea Town. I have never had Korean food before. The only slight taste I had was when we were at their house playing a game and I lost, so my consequence was to take a bite of kimchi, which I almost gagged on. So going to this restaurant with that being the only Korean experience I had backing me up, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. By golly, was I introduced to the most glorious food! I ate and ate and ate!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Last Sunday Jared and I received a prize in the mail. Even though it was junk mail-looking, I decided to open it regardless. It was a $50 gift card to Flemings Steakhouse. I didn't get too excited, there had to be a catch. [Last week we also received a voucher for a free cruise for 2, but the catch was that you had to be 30 or older - not really much of a catch, we just happen to not be that old.] So I held on to it. Later that night I pulled up the website, entered the code on the back and it asked for a reservation date. I put us in for 6:30 on Saturday May 15th at LA Live. Done! Jared and I were rather stoked that we received this free $50 gift card, but still being a bit leery, we called and they confirmed it was legit. So yesterday afternoon we saved our appetites for our big meal! We looked up their menu before going. The prices weren't on the website, but after reading some reviews on YELP, we determined the average meal was between $18-$25 - perfectly covered by the gift card!

So we arrived at Flemings on time and we were seated promptly. Then the feeling of unbelongingness sunk in. The hostess asked us if we wanted black napkins. Uh, my mind was confused so I naively asked why would we want black napkins in comparison to the white ones already on the table? She said something, but I didnt hear so it was best that I just took it to avoid looking like a fool. Jared didnt hear what she said either, but he took one as well. After she left, we together concluded that the black napkins must be for the dark meats? In case you spill dark meat juice on you?? Oh well, that was done with.

We opened our menus. My stomach turned. The CHEAPEST entree was $25.50! And that did not include a side, that was strictly the meat. I think we both started to sweat a bit. We discussed what we would do if this $50 gift card didn't work, how Jared would complain to the manager and tell them there was NO WAY we could afford this meal and they would have to accept the $50 redeemable card. So next the waitress came. She asked if we wanted any wine. NO. First sign to her that we were cheap. Were we ready to order? Yes. Jared got the Pork Chops while I went with the LITE filet mignon, the ONLY dish that came with a side of mashed potatoes. We ordered one side of macaroni and cheese for $9.50! The waitress asked if we wanted a veggie or side salad with our orders? Nope! Second sign that we were cheap - no additional sides. We had a laugh at how unhealthy our meals were. No vegetables. Nothing but pure meat, potatoes and mac and cheese. Not to mention that by this time we had already downed 2 loaves of bread and 2 cream cheese spreads they kept refilling. We were STARVING.

While we were waiting, another table got their meal. I saw this lady with the smallest portion of meat. I scoffed at Jared about the small portion size. He looked at me like I was crazy, and then told me my meat was going to smaller than that. WHY, I asked. "Did you not see what you ordered? You ordered the LITE PETITE filet mignon! That's the smallest filet there is!"..."Oh," i replied. "I thought LITE meant it was the least FATTY of all the meats." Jared then informed me that in beef, lite means poundage, not fattage. To that I responded "Oh no, i'm going to be so hungry!" We would so much rather have been at Pancho's Tacos where we can get a wet burrito for $5.25 and leave feeling satisfied physically and financially.

After 20 min, our food arrived. Jared's pork chop was a decent size. My filet mignon? I think it had a 3 inch diameter. SO DINKY! And the side of potatoes? 3 spoonfuls!! I was in misery. Atleast the filet was exceptional. The mac and cheese was crusty and dry. The time came for the dessert menu, to which we declined - third sign of cheap. We asked for our bill. $73.50! Can you believe that?! We were outraged! I can't believe people pay full price for this stuff! Jared whipped out the $50 gift card. We reasoned that Fleming's probably did not get the result they wanted by sending us the voucher. Flemings desired result: for us to spend more money on alcohol or full entree with side. Our desired result: to get 2 meals for free. Jared and I were rolling with laughter when we put that gift card in the black credit card booklet. We have to be the biggest cheap-os in Flemings history. When the waitress came to pick up the check, I had to break it to her. I told her "You're going to find out how cheap we are when you open that book!" She laughed, opened it up, and told us that was fine. It's part of the economic times, she said. Wow, did that make us feel better! She came back with a box of chocolates for Jared's upcoming birthday. We ended on a good note with Flemings. We only paid $20 for both a filet mignon and a pork chop. However, we will not be coming back, no matter how many free cards we receive! Ok, maybe we'll be back if we receive 2 or more free $50 gift cards. 

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Friday, May 7, 2010

In high school I denied any notion that I was like my mother. In fact, I wrote a little book/diary that I entitled “All I need to know about parenting I learned when I was younger.” I wrote down all the good and bad that I saw in my parents, mostly in an effort to convince myself that I was wiser in my teenage years than they were was parents [scoff!]. In college I gained a greater appreciation for my mother, but still kept my distance from the thought that she and I could have similarities. Married life has COMPLETELY ANNIHILATED all previous efforts to disjoint myself from my mother. I now embrace the fact that I am destined to be like her. It’s rather odd the things that I have carried with me from mom:

1. I do not run the disposal with hot water because you told me it damages the rotary.

2. The first big purchase Jared and I made was for a sewing machine, so that I could emulate all the customized pillows and drapes that you so conveniently manufactured growing up.

3. I too have a binder for all my “how to’s” and dream projects.

4. I never iron my clothes after they come out of the wash.

5. I have treasured “THE BIG COOKIE” recipe and make it my trademark wherever I go.

6. I favor white dinner plates and bowls over multi-colored. White is classy.

7. I thought your favorite color was despicable when I was a child – who’s favorite color is black?! I, too, am now a fan of the dark side, mostly because wearing black makes me look skinny.

8. My greatest request on our wedding registry was a Kitchen-aid. Jared thought that was absurd because he never grew up with a mixer and I was requesting the top of the line. I learn from the best!

9. I know what a lemon meringue pie is and how to peak the frosting.

10. I know that I should always sift the flour [even though I don’t] and pack the brown sugar.

11. I use lotion to take off my eye make-up, not make-up remover. Jared thinks that’s crazy.

12. I never buy shaving cream because I was taught that soap does the job just as well.

13. I LOVE BALSALMIC VINEGAR. I used to think you were crazy for having a salad for lunch everyday drenched in the bitter dressing and pouring white vinegar in your water. Now I can’t wait for lunch time so I can sit at my desk and indulge in the tingling vinaigrette and work up a sweat. Why does balsamic vinegar make you sweat, by the way?

14. I love teaching.

15. I love this country.

16. I have a soft spot for Roger and Hammerstein movies. I loved when the movie catalog would come in the mail and you would let us pick a VHS to buy every so often.

17. I always serve dinner on placemats or a tablecloth, with napkins on the table, the knife and spoon on the right and fork on the left.

18. I wash our stainless steel pots and pans with Barkeepers Friend.

19. Our liquid dish soap is kept on the counter in wine bottle.

20. I now know why you savor your Michaels and JoAnn’s 40% coupons.

21. I live for basking in the sun’s rays [although probably still not as much as you]

While there are many more to name, I am glad that in these small ways I am like you. Thank you Mother!

Happy Mothers Day!